I have been hearing this statement a lot lately from different people in our grief support groups. I should have called sooner, I should have stayed home that day, I should have, or if only …
I want to say a couple of things here.
Hindsight is 20/20. We can’t know what we don’t know. It is important, as we grieve, to remember to be gentle with yourself. It is so easy to be caught up in “I should haves.” This creates a scenario where you are not only struggling with the grief you feel over the loss of your person, but you are adding an extra burden by being hard on yourself for the things that you could not foresee.
While I realize that, this is part of the grief process. Actually most people who are grieving will have some of these thoughts. My request is that you give yourself a break.
I am hoping that you can give yourself permission to see that if you had known, you would have done things differently. If you had known, you would not have these if only or should haves now.
As these thoughts show up, please give yourself a little bit of kindness and hold a bit of space for the fact that we can’t know what we don’t know.